Today’s recipe transforms carrot cake into wonderful pancakes. Call it fusion cuisine or just a fun food mash-up. Either way, these flapjacks are a special treat.
Whenever it’s feasible to sneak vegetables into a breakfast dish, I’m all in. Carrots provide a host of beneficial nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber, and their beta-carotene content is off the charts. Beta carotene, which the body turns in to vitamin A, is essential for healthy eyes. Carrots also contain a soluble fiber called calcium pectate, which may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Don’t let the number of servings this recipe makes scare you off. Freezing excess pancakes is really easy. Once the cooked pancakes have cooled completely, set them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch each other. Place in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Once completely frozen, transfer pancakes to resealable freezer bags, label and date, and return to the freezer. Packaged properly, frozen pancakes should stay fresh for up to three months.
To reheat frozen pancakes, pop them into the toaster until they’re warm and slightly crispy on the edges. You can also reheat frozen pancakes in a 375-degree oven. Place pancakes on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil to keep them from drying out and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. For a softer pancake, arrange on a microwave-safe plate and heat uncovered for 30 to 60 seconds, or until heated through. Stacking them when reheating may cause them to stick together.
Instead of syrup, we made a cream cheese drizzle topping to give these pancakes a more authentic carrot cake flavor. When creating healthful recipes, one ingredient that presents a big challenge is cream cheese. Full-fat cream cheese contains a hefty dose of artery-clogging saturated fat: 6 grams in a single ounce (two tablespoons). Our drizzle contains reduced-fat cream cheese, also labeled Neufchatel. It contains 4 grams of saturated fat per ounce and is a great substitute for the full-fat version.
Darlene Zimmerman is a registered dietitian in Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart & Vascular
Institute. For questions about today’s recipe, call 313-972-1920.
Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle
Makes: 32 pancakes / Prep time: 20 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ⅓ cups skim milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup canned crushed pineapple, drained, reserving juice
½ cup raisins
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
In a large bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, 1 tablespoon oil and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and stir until batter is just combined. Add carrots, pineapple and raisins and stir until just combined.
Coat a nonstick griddle or skillet with 1 teaspoon oil and set heat to medium-high. When hot, spoon batter onto griddle using a 1/8 cup measure per pancake. Turn pancakes when tops form bubbles and edges appear cooked. Briefly cook second side, just long enough to brown.
Repeat with remaining batter, using additional 1 teaspoon oil to coat skillet if
necessary. Batter will yield 32 pancakes.
To prepare cream cheese topping: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add juice and continue to beat until creamy and well combined.
From Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD for Heart Smart and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Analysis per 4 pancakes with cream cheese drizzle.
306 calories (18% from fat), 6 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 53 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 335 mg sodium, 32 mg cholesterol, 124 mg calcium, 4 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 3 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 fat.
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